13 July 2020

On Becoming Less Attached to My Phone



I have moments where I'm Instagram obsessed, endlessly scrolling through and commenting on everything but, for the majority I'm becoming less concerned about being present all the time.

I touched upon this subject in February and since then my life online has taken a significant shift. After admitting that I felt addicted to my phone, I took the decision to turn off all notifications on Twitter, Instagram, my emails, WhatsApp, my blog and, I also deleted the Facebook app all together. 

I didn't make this decision because I felt overwhelmed, I did it because I felt like I was trapped. Always looking down at my screen and never focusing on real life moments with my partner. Every day trip became an Instagram worthy moment, every evening sat watching TV turned into an excuse to reply to messages and, every morning I'd wake up and look at my phone before acknowledging my love. I became obsessed with my life online and my real life connections began to crumble. The success of creating a blog late last year and the assumption that people expected me to reply to them immediately became too much. Yet, no one was actually expecting me to be present constantly - I put the strain and pressure on myself and, that needed undoing.

When I decided to rid my phone of notifications I didn't know how long it would last or, whether it would be a success. I just wanted to try. To share my energy between my life online and what's going on right in front of me. To find balance and ease my restless mind.

Full transparency - the first few weeks of having notifications off was a challenge. There were times when I fell into a trap of refreshing my feed to see if someone had replied to my message or comment but, as times gone by its all become effortless. In fact, I've found myself leaving the house without my phone and not missing it. I've spent entire days only tapping unlock if I'm expecting an important text and, I've watched entire series on Netflix without simultaneously holding my phone in my left hand.



It's been six months now and I don't see myself going back. I actually like having the option to check my socials but, also knowing that it can all wait. The pressure has officially been lifted and life has resumed. It feels good to take a step back and feel present in every moment. To know that nothing is as valuable as my relationships and that this phone of mine does not control my universe. It's a powerful little thing with the ability to help me achieve my ambitions but, it's not the most important thing in my life. Not even close. Maybe not even in my top 10. 

Truthfully I don't miss my old attitude or the notifications, I like being unavailable and, this past weekend was a testament to that. I checked in on Instagram maybe once of twice but, I spent most of my time enjoying glorious sunshine with my partner. We had a BBQ, drank gin, played board games, went to the beach, ate popcorn and watched movies in bed. During none of this did I contemplate that something might be happening online that could ever be more important than these treasured moments. 

I think it's safe to say I'm beginning to feel JOMO - joy of missing out and, I'm here for it! This headspace is a wonderful place to be. It's as though I have my freedom back. I can choose how I spend my time and there's no need to rush. Life waits for me.

I'm seeing more and more influencers by the week doing similar too. Signing off on Friday nights with a tweet or an Instagram story explaining their plans for the weekend and, how they won't be back until Monday. Turning off notifications all together and engaging online when they're willing and able.

It's a glorious thing to see so many taking back the power and getting some space. Life online is overwhelming sometimes, we all have our limits and, it's easy to get lost and forget what's truly fundamental to our well-being. Having the confidence and ability to say this is too much or I need a break is a big deal and something becoming more accepting through the discussions about mental health and self-care. 

With everything that's happened / is continuing to happen this year, I think some time offline is nothing but a good thing that we all require moving forward. It doesn't mean we can't become successful bloggers or are letting our online images slip, it just means that we're human and, can accept that switching off is an act of respect for our own sanity.


9 comments

  1. This sounds like such a lovely experience :) I get pretty anxious about social media as it's both my day job and part of my 'side hustle' as well as my personal life, getting away from it all is always very refreshing!

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  2. Good for you! I admit, I still have notifications for messages only, but not within the social media apps themselves. Those bring me no joy. I do too much browsing on my own to need them to alert me on the rare chance that I'm away!

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  3. I love this! I have to admit that I'm worrying about getting addicted to my phone at the moment so really trying to cut back on that a bit at the moment by having at least one social media free day a week and leaving it out of reach - or off - at other times. It's great to hear that you managed to find a way that works for you and you're really seeing the difference now - very inspiring! Definitely motivating me to push it further.

    Lindsey | https://aramblingreviewer.wordpress.com/

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    1. It can so easily happen though without us being aware, can't it? Sometimes I still have moments where I want to pick up my phone constantly but, turning off the notifications has really helped me reduce my hours online.

      I hope you're able to find a balance that works for you too moving forward x

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  4. That sounds beautiful. I often take breaks away from my phone; for some reason I have never felt addicted to it but can see how others can be! Something I find really useful that enables me to have that time away from my phone whilst I am doing something else is scheduling everything - I love how two things can be happening at once without my intervention. I love this thoughtful and more personal style of post; it is lovely to read. I'm glad everything is going well for you; and that you have secured your independence from your online world. The phrase JOMO has a nice ring to it, too!

    Paige // Paige Eades

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    1. It's so great that you're able to separate yourself and haven't found the addiction so many of us experience. I'm with you in terms of scheduling content - although this is only something I tend to do when I'm going to be working a lot because I don't have access to my phone during 12-hour shifts. I think I might definitely have to schedule more content in future though, as I agree that this would probably really help in switching off further.

      I'm also so pleased you like my use of JOMO too haha. Thanks for reading lovely x

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  5. This is a great way to do it! I see a lot of people going cold turkey, taking all social media off their phones for a period of time and then talking about how nothing has really changed when they end up installing things again. I feel like turning off the notifications is a much more realistic step for those who know that they do ultimately want to stay connected, they just need to limit how connected they are. I have almost all of my notifications turned off but I think this is inspiring me to do away with those that are still on.

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  6. Loved this! So glad you had such a great experience with getting off your phone. Like I said on Twitter, I had a no social media and work day on Sunday and it was GLORIOUS and I'm definitely considering prolonging it to full weekends now!

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  7. This sounds like a great experience - one I really need to try. I need the hard break from it.

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